School lockdown procedure to be reviewed after Christchurch terror attack

Schools and parents will have their say on the lockdown procedures implemented during the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Around 59,000 school students were forced to huddle together for four hours during the terror attacks, when a lone gunman killed 50 people and injured another 50 at two mosques. 

Some students had to lie on the classroom floors, while others had to use buckets as toilets.

Blair Dravitski, Linwood Avenue School Principal said his students were among those who had to use makeshift loos.

"We realised being so close, the seriousness of what was going on and we just couldn't risk leaving the lockdown until we were told."

Linwood Avenue School is four minutes' walk from the second mosque targeted in the March 15 mass shooting. The attack happened at 1:55pm, and the school was in lockdown by 2pm.

"A lot of other schools obviously further away from the direct mosques mean that they were told maybe 2:30pm or, 2:45pm, when parents were already there, ready to pick up kids," Dravitski told Newshub.

The school has been through lockdown drills before, but nothing prepared them for this.

Somerfield School was another that struggled in the chaos. Principal Denise Torrey told Newshub they had to keep everyone calm.

"Many of us had very upset, irate parents, and that caused upset to some of the children who witnessed that or heard it because people were banging on windows or shouting abuse."

The Government will review all aspects of the four-hour lockdown, including school building designs, toileting, school policies and procedures, and make recommendations for changes and improvements

"One of things we need to look at is what would've happened if the lockdown had needed to go later into the evening or overnight," said Ministry of Education spokesperson Katrina Casey.

A report into what really happened inside school classrooms will be presented to the Government in July.


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